Sep 29, 2016: Chaska, MN, USA; USA team vice captain Tiger Woods watches during practice for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

Tiger Woods commits to make return at Safeway Open

Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire

The PGA Tour announced Friday morning that Tiger Woods has officially committed to play at the Safeway Open. It will be his first tournament appearance in over a year as he recovers from two back surgeries in September and October of 2015.

The Safeway Open, which is held in Napa, California, will be Woods’ first tournament appearance since he took 10th at the Wyndham Championship 14 months ago. Safeway Open play begins on Thursday. “It could be a fun fall,” Woods hinted in a statement last month. “It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it.”

Though Woods had not committed to the event until Friday, the Safeway Open had been advertising Woods and Phil Mickelson as the headliners of the event. Mickelson has said that he hopes to be grouped with Woods in the opening rounds of play.

Woods is second on the PGA Tour’s all-time wins list with 79. He trails Sam Snead for the all-time lead by only three wins on the tour.

Woods has previously had success after long layoffs, but the 417 days off between Wyndham and Safeway will be the longest of his career by a wide margin. After his most recent extended layoff, however, Woods missed the cut at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open after a 172-day hiatus. He tied for fourth at the 2010 Masters after 144 days off and won the 2008 Farmers Insurance Open after 130 days off. It will be interesting to see which version of Woods appears in Napa on Thursday.

Tiger Woods commits to make return at Safeway Open

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